Broadband: Households

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered on 29 March 2023.

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Photo of Mary Foy Mary Foy Labour, City of Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps she is taking to help deliver nationwide gigabit broadband to 85 per cent of all households by 2025.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

I am pleased to share that more than 98% of premises in the City of Durham constituency can access a superfast connection, above the national average. More than 61% of premises are also able to access a gigabit-capable connection, which is a significant increase from just 1% of premises in 2019.

The Government is committed to working with broadband suppliers further so that 85% of UK premises can access gigabit-capable broadband by 2025. We are on track to achieve our target. At present, over 74% of UK premises can access a gigabit-capable connection, up from just 6% in January 2019.

Project Gigabit is the Government’s £5 billion mission to deliver fast, reliable broadband across the UK. More than £1 billion of public subsidy has been made available to broadband suppliers to extend their gigabit-capable networks to rural and hard to reach parts of the country. To date, we have awarded seven contracts in locations from Cornwall to Cumbria, and we have launched a further 14 procurements, which combined will deliver fast, reliable broadband to up to 748,000 premises that would have otherwise missed out.

Support is also available for homes and businesses through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. The voucher scheme provides a subsidy of up to £4,500 for residents and businesses in rural areas towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband via local community broadband projects. To date, almost 84,000 vouchers have been used to connect premises to gigabit-capable broadband.

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